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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Using Free Checklists to Track Life's To-Dos

I am a consummate list maker.

That's because I suffer from momnesia. If I don't write things down, chances are pretty good that I will forget them. That's how I wound up at my in-laws' house one Thanksgiving morning without any makeup packed.

Now, whether we're planning a week-long vacation or just an overnight trip, I make a list of everything we need to pack, take and do before we leave. I usually post the list on the fridge or on the back of the door -- the two most visible spots in our home.


I don't limit my checklists to travel. I have a running checklist of home repairs, so when the handyman visits, we won't overlook some major or minor repair. I also use checklists to keep holiday stress at bay, when I'm planning a party and to manage big life changes, like moving or having a baby.

While sometimes it's necessary to create a custom checklist for your particular situation, I've often found free checklists online to help me tackle all the to-dos in my life.

Here are some checklists I've found to make my life easier.

Babies and Kids

If you're looking for checklists for what to buy for your new baby, Tiny Tot Lot is a good place to go. The site is baby checklist central with a focus on educating new mothers about what they need for there newborns -- everything for the nursery, travel gear, safety essentials and bath supplies. You'll also find safety and nursing tips there.

Check out Tiny Tot Lot's:
Babies R Us also has a must-have checklist of everything you'll need to welcome a newborn and get your child through babyhood. But be careful not to fall into the trap that so many new parents do of thinking you need everything. You don't. (But that didn't stop me from buying it.)

If you're looking for a gift for a new mom and her newborn, Martha Stewart offers a checklist of mom and baby essentials.

I also like Martha's


We're gearing up to potty train in our house, so I'm particularly interested to know what supplies, tricks and treats I need to have on hand. I like:


I'm not convinced that you can potty train a child in one day, but even so, Potty Training in One Day has some good checklists:

Potty training equipment checklist
Poop and pee charts

I know summer has just started, but there's no reason you can't get a jump start on getting the kids ready for school.

Check out these handy lists:



Home Keeping

When it comes to housekeeping, home keeping and home maintenance, Real Simple magazine is my go-to source for advice. The Real Simple Web site is also chock full of checklists that are will help you keep your home in tip-top shape. But I like them because they're simple; in other words, they're checkable. Some of my favorites:

Who knew there were so many checklists? Too many for one blog post, so I'll post another installment later in the week with links to my favorite holiday, travel, party-planning and health checklists.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with my favorite checklist of the moment, Real Simple's July 2009 Keep-It Together Checklist.

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